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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has disclosed that the slash of the registration fee for the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME/DE) examination from N5000 to N3500 by the Federal government was responsible for the 159,252 difference in the number of candidates registered for the examination.

JAMB in the latest edition of its weekly bulletin revealed that at the close of registration on Monday, 25th February 2019, one million, eight hundred and eighty-one thousand, four hundred and eighty-eight (1, 881,488) candidates registered for the 2019 UTME.

It marked the first time in decades that the Board application fee will be reviewed downward. The slash triggered an upsurge of candidates registering for the 2019 UTME. Within six weeks, the Board was able to capture over 1.8 million candidates along with their biometrics, names and other forms of identities that could be used for the UTME and other developmental needs of the country.

On the contrary, in the 2016 UTME, before Prof. Is-haq Oloyede assumed duty, the Board registered one million, five hundred and ninety-two thousand, four hundred and sixty-two (1,592,462) candidates.

An increase of one hundred and twenty-nine thousand, seven hundred and seventy-four (129,774) candidates was recorded in the 2017 UTME as the Board registered one million, seven hundred and twenty-two thousand, two hundred and thirty-six (1,722,236) candidates.

The 2019 UTME and Direct Entry application documents commenced on Thursday, 10th January 2019 and ended on Thursday, 21st February 2019.

A total of fifty-five thousand, two hundred and fourteen (55,214) candidates who purchased the e-PIN on the last day were allowed to register before the close of registration on Monday 25th of February 2019.

Many candidates who were interviewed disclosed that they were encouraged to register when they discovered that they could afford the new fee.

In 2017, the Board introduced innovations such as profile creation to modification of the biometric capturing already in existence in the registration process to eliminate all forms of impersonation and improve the registration process.

There was also a significant improvement in the total number of candidates registered in the 2018 exercise with many improved innovations which include live picture capturing, biometrics capturing of ten fingers etc.

The process of profile creation was modified with candidates sending their names to code for their profile to be registered.

This system made the registration process faster and eliminated cases of wrong spelling of names etc. The 2019 registration is peculiar in many forms.

The Board at the commencement of the 2019 registration exercise announced that it would not reschedule its examination particularly for candidates with biometric challenges. It stated that all candidates whose fingers could not be captured at the point of registration must visit the headquarters of the Board in Bwari, to have their issues addressed.

From this exercise, it was noticed that many of the challenges associated with biometric during registration were man-made. Before the close of the registration, about 50 candidates whose fingers could not be captured throughout the country were invited to the Board’s headquarters, but only twenty-two (22) out of that number reported for capturing. Unlike the previous years’ exercises where over twenty-four thousand (24, 000) candidates who claimed to have biometric challenges had their examinations rescheduled.

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